Christel Rönns
Publication date
July 2019
Format info
120 pages, colour illustrations, 8+

Wills & Nelli: Shy Elmer

Risto Räppääjä ja ujo Elmeri

The McFinns set out to “cure” shyness – with surprising results!

Auntie Rose becomes the face of a campaign to combat loneliness in young people. To fully understand her new role, Rose invites a shy boy to stay with her for a week in the hope of helping him become a bit braver. That’s how Elmer ends up staying at the McFinn household with Rose and Wills.

Wills tries to encourage Elmer to be brave by giving him plenty of things to do. The kind Elmer does as he is asked and soon enough Wills realises that he’d make a pretty good assistant. When Nelli finds out, she gets cross with Wills for bullying Elmer. Nelli also asks whether being shy is necessarily such a bad thing. Eventually Rose, Alfred and even Auntie Fran get involved in answering the question. And, in the end, it’s Elmer himself who surprises everyone!

The Wills & Nelli books by Sinikka Nopola (b.1953) and Tiina Nopola (b. 1955)  have been popular in Finland for over 20 years. Now films, plays and songs that are based on the books are further increasing their popularity. 


W&N: Shy Elmer, 2019
W&N: Julia the Schemer, 2018
W&N: The Artist Within, 2017
W&N: Something in Common, 2016
W&N: The Unusual Suspects, 2015
W&N: The Scrooge of Seville, 2014
W&N: The Lookalike, 2013
W&N: Nelli’s Plight, 2012
Illustrated by Christel Rönns

W&N: Wills’ New Dad, 2011
W&N: Star Struck, 2009
W&N: The Last Ice-Cream, 2007
W&N: A Gaming Frenzy, 2006
W&N: Teacher’s Pet, 2004
W&N: The Persistent Pimple, 2003
W&N: Dandy Andy, 2002
W&N: Freezer Fran, 2001
Wills & Nelli, 2000
Wills McFinn and the Horrible Sausage, 1998
Wills McFinn, 1997
Illustrated by Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen


Colour illustrated
Age: 8+


Finnish PDF
Series synopsis

Series rights sold

Arabic (Dar Al Saqi)
Brazilian (Sds Editora)
Bulgarian (Faber)
Danish (Turbine)
Danish (Carlsen)
Estonian (Varrak)
Finnish, Sámi (Abc-Company)
French (Pocket Jeunesse), six book deal
Hungarian (Cerkabella)
Japanese (Komine Shoten)
Latvian (Zvaigzne)
Lithuanian (Nieko Rimto)
Polish (Foksal)
Slovenian (Sodobnost)
Spanish (Santillana)
Swedish (Bonnier Carlsen)
Turkish (Altin Kitaplar)


“The enduring popularity of Wills reflects the fact that Sinikka and Tiina have managed to keep their readership happy… the Nopolas are masters of charming storytelling and skillful language.” Savon Sanomat newspaper